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St. Pete condo buyer ‘liked the view and he had the cash’

October home sales included one of the priciest condos ever in the Tampa Bay area.
The view looking northeast from the balcony of the penthouse at One St. Petersburg that was flipped for a $1 million profit in October.
The view looking northeast from the balcony of the penthouse at One St. Petersburg that was flipped for a $1 million profit in October. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ]
Published Nov. 21, 2019

Tampa Bay’s luxury condo market had an unusually strong month in October as an unfinished penthouse in downtown St. Petersburg was flipped for a $1 million profit.

A shrinking supply of available houses, however, took its toll on the market for single-family homes. Sales were essentially flat although prices rose again, according to figures released Thursday by Florida Realtors.

RELATED: You can look down on your neighbors — all of them — from this $4.6 million St. Pete penthouse

The bay area’s top sale of the month was $4.15 million for a penthouse in ONE St. Petersburg, the tallest residential tower on Florida’s West Coast. The sellers, a New York couple, bought the unit for $3,118,400 in March a few months after completion of the building a block from the city’s downtown waterfront.

A "virtual staging'' shows how the living area of the ONE St. Petersburg penthouse might look.
A "virtual staging'' shows how the living area of the ONE St. Petersburg penthouse might look. [ Tony Sica Photography ]

One of three penthouses on the 42nd floor, the 3,338-square-foot condo was basically a concrete shell. Realtors Colleen Neelon and Liz Heinkel virtually staged it with contemporary furniture, and it went under contract in just 40 days to M. Patrick Carroll, founder and CEO of an Atlanta-based company that develops multi-family housing.

"Out of the blue, we got a call that he wanted to see it,'' Heinkel said. "He liked the vibe of the building, he liked the view and he had the cash.''

Although Carroll grew up in Tampa, "he really didn’t know anything about St. Petersburg,'' Heinkel added. "He felt it had a young, growing vibe and he wanted the excitement of living downtown.'' (Carroll also owns a waterfront house in South Tampa that he bought for $3.14 million last year, records show.)

Only two other Tampa Bay condos have sold for more than the ONE ST. Petersburg unit. In May, Heinkel was the listing agent on a penthouse in Ovation, also in downtown St. Petersburg, that sold for $6.849 million. Another Ovation penthouse holds the record, $6.9 million in 2016.

RELATED: Downtown St. Petersburg condo tower penthouse sells for a record $6.9 million cash

Of the 10 Pinellas’ residences that sold for $2 million or more in October, six were condos. The October figures show that sales of Pinellas houses, meanwhile, dropped 1 percent year over year while prices rose 5 percent to a median of $272,900.

How single-family home sales fared elsewhere:

Hillsborough — Sales up 3.9 percent, prices up 2.7 percent to a median of $250,895.

Pasco — Sales down 4.2 percent, prices up 6 percent to a median of $228,000.

Hernando — Sales up 5.3 percent, prices up 8.4 percent to a median of $168,000

Hillsborough’s priciest transaction in October was $2.95 million for a waterfront house in Tampa’s Sunset Park. In Pasco County, the top price was $1.1 million for a six-bedroom, six-bath house in Wesley Chapel that has been featured in Southern Living magazine. And in Hernando, a gulf-front home in Hernando Beach sold for $830,000, a high price for that county.

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Statewide, sales of single-family homes rose 5.2 percent, while prices climbed 3.6 percent to a median of 5.2 percent.

Nationally, sales of existing homes including condos and townhomes rose 4.6 percent with prices up 6.2 percent to a median of $270,900.